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Tigers finish 10-0 with win over Hillcrest-Evergreen

The Greenville Tigers pounced quickly onto the Hillcrest-Evergreen Jaguars and scored in every way imaginable in the first quarter, taking an insurmountable early lead and ultimately the game in a 34-6 win.

The win marks a perfect regular season for the Tigers, the first in five years.

It was offense that got the ball rolling for the Tigers as the Brandon Simmons-led offense marched methodically down the field and scored on the opening drive.

The lengthy drive set the tone for the rest of the team, as defensive back A’Darius Bowen tipped a pass into the hands of linebacker Winston Sims, who then took it to the house for a pick-six and the Tigers’ second score.

Moments later, after the Tigers defense halted the Jaguars in their tracks, Greenville scored on special teams on a punt return to mount a 20-0 lead with seven minutes left on the clock in the first quarter.

Josh McLendon, head coach of the Tigers, said that he was proud of his offense’s ability to set the tempo early.

“I was glad we were able to come out and jump on them like that and not make it a game because they’re pretty explosive on offense,” McLendon said.

“I was proud of the opening drive—we just came out and just drove it right down and scored, and then we turned around and had some really big plays that just kept it going.”

The Greenville defense turned in another stellar performance by forcing a capable but flustered Jaguars offense into making bad decisions, snuffing out any spark before the team had a chance to prove their explosiveness.

That, coupled with the early momentum and field position control, sealed the Tigers’ final win with little opposition.

But next week’s opposition should prove far more challenging as the Tigers face their first postseason opponent in Dallas County.

Fortunately, McLendon is confident that the Tigers have the momentum to make a postseason push.

“We wanted to finish the regular season the way we started it, and that was one thing we talked about this week was being able to finish undefeated in the regular season,” McLendon said.

“But like I said, it’s a new season now and everybody’s record is wiped clean and starting fresh.  We’re going to enjoy this tonight, and then get to work Sunday against Dallas County.”